NFL cornerback Richard Sherman is a paid spokesperson for COBINHOOD, a cryptocurrency exchange with no trading fees. But Sherman’s involvement with cryptocurrency started years ago when he started accepting bitcoin for merchandise on his website. Sherman sat down with Business Insider’s Sara Silverstein to discuss his view of cryptocurrency. Following is a transcript of the video.
Sara Silverstein:So can you explain to me what COBINHOOD is?
Richard Sherman:COBINHOOD is a trading platformlike many others out there, but it has no trading fee, which for most people that will save them a ton of money. For me, it’s saved me a ton of money and I’m thankful for it because you get frustrated, you feel like you’retrading, you’re having a heck of a day, and then you look up and every transaction you’ve got a fee, every trade you got a fee, every trade you got a fee, and it’s like, you know what, it would be way better if I could do all this and save my money on these fees. So, I’m thankful for Popo, their founder who came up with COBINHOOD. He’s incredibly adept at understanding blockchains and crypto and that whole world, you know. I mean, when I speak to him I feel like a small fish in a very, very, very big pond, but I’m trying.
Silverstein:And how does that business model work? How do they make money if they don’t charge any transactionfees?
Sherman:Well they do a great job underwriting for companies that are trying to create a coin, ICO, or also marketing these companies and making sure that they’re seen and that, you know, their coin is getting as much exposure as others. So they make their money that way, so they, that’s how they save on these fees.
Silverstein:And this is not the first crypto project that you’ve been a part of, or interest that you’ve had. How did you first get involved and when did that happen?
Sherman:Well honestly, and I hate tellingthis story because it’s frustrating. So I have like a merchandise website, you know, shirts and sweaters and things like that for people who wanna support. And, early on, I mean maybe like five, six years ago, some of the fans were reaching out like, oh man, we wanna pay in bitcoin, we wanna pay in this digital currency. And, I was kinda sceptical obviously. It’s like, just normal cash will do. I mean, you know. But one of our managers for the website was from Asia and he had heard of cryptocurrency and bitcoin so he was more informed than I was. He was like, yeah just go for it, just allow it. I think you’re gonna really like this. I think it’s a future. And so we allowed it, for the most part though, we just converted it back to cash unfortunately. Yeah, so, if I could go back in time and not convert that to cash, then sure I’d have a lot of bitcoin probably. Millions of dollars.
Silverstein:But is that regret what got you interested and starting to research bitcoin and get involved in the cryptocurrency?
Sherman:I mean, and not really regret, just kinda, like a missed opp. You know, like I passed on the opportunity where I could’ve done more research, I could’ve really looked into it. But I got into it. I’ve made some money. I’ve made $US15,000 on it, but it could’ve been a lot more.
Silverstein:What other cryptocurrencies have you looked at other than bitcoin?
Sherman:I’m into Ethereum and other coins that come with that blockchain. Obviously I’ve got a few bitcoin, Litecoin I’ve dabbled in as I’ve learned more.
Silverstein: And is it true you told your grandmother not to buy bitcoin?
Sherman:Yeah because with that situation, I’m tryin’ to explain it to her, you know, and I’m like, yeah it’s blockchain and ethereum is the ledger for the blockchain and, you know, as I’m explaining it she’s just like, you know, just blank-faced like, ok so how to I make money? I’m like well, if the cost of the coin goes up, and she’s like, what happens if it goes down? Then you lose money. She’s like, no, I don’t wanna lose money, so make me money. I’m like grandma you’re not really listening. You just don’t mess wid it. I’ma figure out, let me figure out more on it. Let me figure out how it works more, but, you know, sometimes, teaching a person who is, stuck in their ways about something new is very difficult so I advised her against that.
Silverstein:And would you, do you still convert all of your merchandise sales that are made in bitcoin directly to cash?
Sherman:No, no we don’t do it anymore.
Silverstein:You hold the bitcoin now.
Sherman:We’ll hold the bitcoin now.
Silverstein:Would you be willing to take your salary in bitcoin?
Sherman:I would be, as long as it equaled out to about the same amount, you know, I’d take it bitcoin. It’d be hard for them to tax it which is always appreciated. Hey, give it to me in bitcoin guys. I don’t know how to tax it. It’s not cash, so.
Silverstein:Where do you think the bitcoin price should be?
Sherman:That I don’t know. I loved it when it was at $US19,000. It was awesome. If it would like to go to $US100,000 that would be fine with me, I wouldn’t mind that, at all.
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